Notebookcheck

BlackBerry KEY2 LE Smartphone Review

Florian Schmitt, 👁 Florian Schmitt (translated by Alex Alderson), 12/08/2018

Light Times. Anyone who appreciates a smartphone with a physical keyboard, but does not want to fork out for an expensive device should consider the BlackBerry KEY2 LE. The cheaper version of the KEY2 has decent hardware for its price, but is it a business bargain?

BlackBerry Key2 LE

While the iPhone has long replaced the BlackBerry as the must-have company phone, there are still those who are fans of smartphones with physical keyboards. TCL Communication bought the BlackBerry Mobile trading name from BlackBerry Limited in 2016 and has since released several devices that cater to this now niche market. TCL started with the KEYone, which had a touchpad integrated within the space bar, shortcut keys and ran pure Android rather than the BB10 OS.

The company then followed this up with the KEY2, which scored a decent 85% in our review this summer. The KEY2 LE has now arrived into our office and has been waiting for us to put it through its paces. The KEY2 LE currently costs $499.99 online for the 64 GB version, which is $150 cheaper than the KEY2. BlackBerry Mobile also sells a 32 GB version in the UK for £349 (~$445). The KEY2 LE may look like its more expensive sibling, but it is equipped with largely different hardware including 2 GB less RAM, a less powerful SoC, worse cameras and a smaller battery among others.

We would have liked to compare the KEY2 LE against other smartphones with physical keyboards, but unfortunately, the only current alternatives are other BlackBerry devices, which would not make for particularly relevant comparison tables. Instead, we have chosen to compare our test device against other equivalently priced mid-range smartphones such as the Sharp D10 and the Sony Xperia XA2 Plus. We will also compare the KEY2 LE against older flagship devices that currently cost less than $500 such as the LG G7 ThinQ and the Huawei P20.

BlackBerry Key2 LE (Blackberry Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
4.5 inch 15:10, 1620 x 1080 pixel 433 PPI, Capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 50 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headphone jack, Card Reader: microSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, USB Type-C (OTG)
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, 2G: 850, 900, 1,800, 1,900 MHz. 3G: B1, B2, B4, B5, B8. 4G: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B8, B12, B17, B19, B20, B26, B28, B32, B38, B40, B41., Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.4 x 150.3 x 71.8 ( = 0.33 x 5.92 x 2.83 in)
Battery
11.4 Wh, 3000 mAh Lithium-Ion, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
Operating System
Android 8.1 Oreo
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix Main camera: 13 MP, f2.2, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), dual LED flash, videos @ 2160p/30 FPS. Secondary camera: 5 MP, f/2.4, Depth of Field sensor.
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix Videos @1080p/​30 FPS
Additional features
Speakers: Mono-speaker on the underside of the device, Keyboard: Physical keyboard, virtual keyboard, Keyboard Light: yes, Charger, USB Type-A to Type- charging cable, headphones, SIM tool, DTEK, BBM, Locker, Notable, 24 Months Warranty, FM radio, multi-coloured notification LED, configurable BlackBerry comfort button. SAR value: Head - 0.78 W/kg. LTE speeds: Download - 600 MBit/s, Upload - 150 MBit/s, fanless
Weight
156 g ( = 5.5 oz / 0.34 pounds), Power Supply: 64 g ( = 2.26 oz / 0.14 pounds)
Price
429 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The BlackBerry KEY2 and KEY2 LE mainly look the same, but there are a few differences. Firstly, the latter comes in more colours. Our test device is the ‘Slate’ version, which looks grey with a blue tint to it in the flesh. The KEY2 LE also comes in ‘Champagne’ and ‘Atomic Red’, the latter of which is dual-SIM and is only available in some markets.

The back of the KEY2 LE has a slightly roughened dot pattern that is grippy, while the device’s rounded corners make it more ergonomic than most modern smartphones. Our test device is also 24 g (~0.85 oz) lighter than the KEY2 and weighs less than all our comparison devices despite having a physical keyboard. The weight reduction has not compromised the KEY2 LE’s structural integrity either. We can twist our test device slightly, which causes the case to creak softly, but we could not cause the display or back case to deform by applying pressure to the device with our hands.

BlackBerry Key2 LE
BlackBerry Key2 LE
BlackBerry Key2 LE
BlackBerry Key2 LE
BlackBerry Key2 LE
BlackBerry Key2 LE
BlackBerry Key2 LE
BlackBerry Key2 LE

Size Comparison

157 mm / 6.18 inch 75 mm / 2.95 inch 9.6 mm / 0.378 inch 204 g0.4497 lbs153.2 mm / 6.03 inch 71.9 mm / 2.83 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 162 g0.3571 lbs151.4 mm / 5.96 inch 71.8 mm / 2.83 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 180 g0.3968 lbs150.3 mm / 5.92 inch 71.8 mm / 2.83 inch 8.4 mm / 0.3307 inch 156 g0.3439 lbs149.1 mm / 5.87 inch 70.8 mm / 2.79 inch 7.65 mm / 0.3012 inch 165 g0.3638 lbs148.2 mm / 5.83 inch 74.2 mm / 2.92 inch 8 mm / 0.315 inch 165 g0.3638 lbs

Connectivity

The KEY2 LE comes with either 32 GB or 64 GB of eMMC flash storage, although we could only find the latter version for sale on US online retailers. TCL Communication has also equipped the device with 4 GB of RAM, which is 2 GB less than the KEY2 has. The KEY2 LE also has a headphone jack and a USB 2.0 Type-C port that supports USB On-The-Go (OTG). By contrast, the KEY2 has a USB 3.1 Type-C port, which should provide faster data transfers. All KEY2 LE models support microSD card expansion, but there are currently two single-SIM and two dual-SIM variants. Our test device is the BBE100-4, which is available in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Our test device accepts either two nano SIMs or a single SIM and a microSD card. We have outlined the four variants below.

Model Region SIM type
BBE100-1 Europe & Asia-Pacific Single SIM
BBE100-2 North America & Latin America Single SIM
BBE100-4 Europe & Asia-Pacific Dual SIM
BBE100-5 North America, Open market Dual SIM


Left-hand side: SIM tray
Left-hand side: SIM tray
Right-hand side: Camera button, Power button, Volume rocker
Right-hand side: Camera button, Power button, Volume rocker
Topside: 3.5 mm jack, Microphone
Topside: 3.5 mm jack, Microphone
Underside: USB Type-C port, Speaker
Underside: USB Type-C port, Speaker

Software

The times when BlackBerry devices came with BlackBerry 10 OS are long gone. The KEY2 LE ships with Android Oreo 8.1 at the time of writing, while our test device arrived with Android security patches from September 1, 2018, which were three months old at the time of testing. We would have expected BlackBerry Mobile to have issued newer security patches by now considering that security is one of the KEY2 LE’s main selling points. We hope that this is rectified soon as it may be a security issue for some users and currently amounts to disingenuous marketing.

Our test device comes with numerous pre-installed apps, including the DTEK security suite, which checks for system vulnerabilities among other things. There is also a secured folder app called Locker and a Privacy Shade, which allows people to redact information from images before sharing them or obscure the entire display except for a specific area. Many of the preinstalled apps are useful in our opinion, but you can uninstall them if you prefer. They are downloadable from the Google Play Store too.

Default home screen
Default home screen
Device Information
Device Information
Default app drawer and some of the pre-installed apps on the KEY2 LE
Default app drawer and some of the pre-installed apps on the KEY2 LE

Communication & GPS

The KEY2 LE supports all modern standards up to IEEE 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and can connect to 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz networks. Our test device performed well in iperf3 Client Wi-Fi tests with our Linksys EA8500 reference router, averaging just over 300 MBit/s in both tests. The Huawei P20 and LG G7 ThinQ achieved significantly higher transfer speeds in both tests though.

In practice, websites load quickly on our test device when it is next to a router, but the Wi-Fi reception drops to ¾ when we tested the KEY2 LE around 10 metres (~33 ft) and three walls away from the router. The same websites took longer to load too.

The KEY2 LE supports numerous LTE bands, which should allow the device to work on USA mobile networks, for example. We would stop short of calling the device a World Phone, though as it is missing a few bands and frequencies that more premium devices support. Hence, we would suggest checking what frequencies local carriers support before embarking on intercontinental travel. It is worth noting that our test device maintained good signal on a German D2 network throughout testing.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
LG G7 ThinQ
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
656 MBit/s ∼100% +97%
Huawei P20
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
637 MBit/s ∼97% +91%
Sharp D10
Adreno 508, 630, 64 GB eMMC Flash
336 (min: 287, max: 344) MBit/s ∼51% +1%
BlackBerry Key2 LE
Adreno 509, 636, 64 GB eMMC Flash
333 (min: 323, max: 338) MBit/s ∼51%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
Adreno 508, 630, 32 GB eMMC Flash
309 MBit/s ∼47% -7%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=397)
220 MBit/s ∼34% -34%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
137 MBit/s ∼21% -59%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
LG G7 ThinQ
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
651 MBit/s ∼100% +107%
Huawei P20
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
397 MBit/s ∼61% +26%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
Adreno 508, 630, 32 GB eMMC Flash
347 MBit/s ∼53% +10%
BlackBerry Key2
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
319 MBit/s ∼49% +1%
BlackBerry Key2 LE
Adreno 509, 636, 64 GB eMMC Flash
315 MBit/s ∼48%
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=397)
210 MBit/s ∼32% -33%
Sharp D10
Adreno 508, 630, 64 GB eMMC Flash
163 (min: 79, max: 172) MBit/s ∼25% -48%
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø331 (323-338)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø311 (301-325)
GPS test: Inside
GPS test: Inside
GPS test: At a window
GPS test: At a window
GPS test: Outside
GPS test: Outside

Our test device cannot locate us inside buildings, but it achieves a satellite fix with up to 6 metres (~20 ft) accuracy when next to a window. The GPS accuracy then increased up to 4 metres (~13 ft) when tested outside, which is a decent result for a sub-$500 device.

We also took the KEY2 LE on a bike ride to compare its navigation accuracy against the Garmin Edge 520, a professional navigation system. Our test device plotted a 300-metre (~328 yd) shorter route than the Garmin, the reasons for which are demonstrated in the pictures below. The KEY2 LE could not keep up with us through bends, which causes it to cut corners where the Garmin does not. Our test device struggled to plot our bridge crossing accurately too, but so did the Garmin. Overall, the KEY2 LE is accurate enough for general navigation tasks, but we would recommend using a professional navigation device if you need precise location accuracy.

GPS test: BlackBerry KEY2 LE – Overview
GPS test: BlackBerry KEY2 LE – Overview
GPS test: BlackBerry KEY2 LE – Cycling through a grove
GPS test: BlackBerry KEY2 LE – Cycling through a grove
GPS test: BlackBerry KEY2 LE - Bridge
GPS test: BlackBerry KEY2 LE - Bridge
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 – Overview
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 – Overview
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 - Cycling through a grove
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 - Cycling through a grove
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 – Bridge
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 – Bridge

Telephone Features & Call Quality

The KEY2 LE comes with the standard Google Contacts and Phone apps, which work just as well as they do on other devices. The device supports Wi-Fi calling (VoWiFi) and voice over LTE (VoLTE), but these features will only work on networks that have provisioned the KEY2 LE. We would recommend checking whether your carrier supports the device before purchasing it as the German E-Network (E-Netz) supports VoLTE, but we could not activate it on our test device.

The call quality on the KEY 2 LE is great though. The earpiece can get loud and can transmit our call partner’s voice clearly without any background noise. Moreover, the microphones pick our voice out well, even if we speak quietly. Our call partner sounds noticeably thinner over the loudspeaker, but their voice remained clear throughout our test calls.

Cameras

Photo taken with the front-facing camera
Photo taken with the front-facing camera

The cameras in the KEY2 LE are noticeably inferior to those in the KEY2, but we suspect that they will still be good enough for business customers. Private buyers should take note though, because comparably priced smartphones like the LG G7 ThinQ take higher-quality photos than the KEY2 LE.

The KEY2 LE has dual rear-facing cameras like its more expensive sibling, but the device uses its secondary sensor just for producing bokeh effect photos rather than to improve the quality of low-light photos. The main camera is a 13 MP sensor, which is 1 MP more than the equivalent in the KEY2. However, the former has an f/2.2 aperture, which will let in less light and capture scenes in less detail than the f/1.8 aperture sensor in the KEY2. The main camera in the KEY2 LE can take decent photos in normal daylight with good colour reproduction, but the degree of detail that it can capture falls short of the cameras in more expensive smartphones. The camera’s low-light performance is unimpressive though. Resulting photos are noisy and are poorly exposed. 

Our test device can record videos in up to 4K at 30 FPS, and the results look good generally with the camera sensor adjusting exposure levels quickly when needed. The colour reproduction is too weak for our liking though. 

The front-facing camera is an 8 MP sensor just like the one in the KEY2. Photos taken with the front-facing camera have decent dynamic range and are suitably detailed. Objects such as faces look sharp too, but we can spot colour noise in dark areas.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

We also subjected the KEY2 LE to further camera tests under controlled lighting conditions in our lab. Overall, the photo of our test chart looks rather blurry, but the main camera captures colours well, albeit in a somewhat uneven manner.

A photo of our test chart
A photo of our test chart
Our test chart in detail
Our test chart in detail
ColorChecker Passport: The lower half of each area of colour displays the reference colour
ColorChecker Passport: The lower half of each area of colour displays the reference colour

Accessories & Warranty

The KEY2 LE comes with a charger, a USB Type-A to Type-C cable, a SIM tool, a quick start guide and warranty information. There are also a pair of headphones that sound comparatively good for bundled headphones. The device also comes with 24 months manufacturer’s warranty for retail purchases. Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices & Operation

The physical keyboard has typically been a unique selling point of BlackBerry smartphones, except for some later RIM devices such as the Z10 and the Z30 among others. There is also the touchscreen-only and TCL-produced BlackBerry Motion that the company released in October 2017, but BlackBerry Mobile is in no way moving away from its physical keyboard heritage.

The keyboard on the KEY2 LE looks like the one in the KEY2, but it lacks the support for touch gestures that its more expensive sibling has. There is keyboard backlighting though, which is a bonus for typing at night. We found the keyboard quick to type on, but it will take some acclimatisation if you are used to using a virtual keyboard. We would recommend typing with both thumbs as this allowed us to type much faster than if we tried using our fingers or a single thumb. You can disable the keyboard if you would rather use a virtual keyboard instead too.

The KEY2 LE retains some of the special spacebar features that we have seen on the KEYone and the KEY2. TCL has incorporated a fingerprint sensor within the flat section of the spacebar, which reliably unlocked our test device quickly throughout testing. The spacebar doubles as a camera shortcut button too. The KEY2 LE also retains the shortcut key, which is freely assignable to short and long presses.

TCL has stuck to using physical navigation buttons too, which are backlit and reacted just as reliably as capacitive buttons do. The touchscreen on our test also responded accurately even at the edges of the display.

The remaining hardware buttons are all located on the right-hand side of the device. The power button has a textured finish that is easy to feel when holding the device, which is sandwiched between the volume rocker and the freely assignable comfort button.

A look at the KEY2 LE’s physical keyboard
A look at the KEY2 LE’s physical keyboard

Display

Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array

The KEY2 LE and KEY2 both have 4.5-inch IPS displays with a 1,620 x 1,080 native resolution. All our comparison devices have 1080p displays except for the higher resolution LG G7 ThinQ. The KEY2 LE has a comparable pixel density to our comparison devices too despite its lower resolution.

Interestingly, our test device achieved a higher average maximum brightness according to X-Rite i1Pro 2 than its more expensive sibling. The display will only reach its maximum peak average luminosity of 644 cd/m² with the ambient light sensor activated. However, the KEY2 LE still finishes in the midfield of our comparison table and is well behind the LG G7 ThinQ. Our test device has a 91% evenly lit display too, which is on par with our comparison devices and will make large areas of colour look homogenous.

620
cd/m²
620
cd/m²
637
cd/m²
639
cd/m²
674
cd/m²
680
cd/m²
630
cd/m²
643
cd/m²
652
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 680 cd/m² Average: 643.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Contrast: 1404:1 (Black: 0.48 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.64 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 7.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
99.3% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.487
BlackBerry Key2 LE
IPS, 1620x1080, 4.5
BlackBerry Key2
IPS, 1620x1080, 4.5
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
IPS, 2160x1080, 6
LG G7 ThinQ
IPS, 3120x1440, 6.1
Huawei P20
LTPS, 2240x1080, 5.8
Sharp D10
IPS, 2160x1080, 5.9
Screen
6%
26%
18%
41%
4%
Brightness middle
674
569
-16%
597
-11%
974
45%
753
12%
745
11%
Brightness
644
548
-15%
592
-8%
975
51%
748
16%
723
12%
Brightness Distribution
91
93
2%
92
1%
96
5%
96
5%
89
-2%
Black Level *
0.48
0.35
27%
0.32
33%
0.49
-2%
0.37
23%
0.6
-25%
Contrast
1404
1626
16%
1866
33%
1988
42%
2035
45%
1242
-12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.64
5
11%
2.4
57%
5.4
4%
1.3
77%
4.52
20%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
9.88
10.1
-2%
5.3
46%
13.1
-33%
2.3
77%
9.14
7%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.2
5.4
25%
3.4
53%
5
31%
1.7
76%
5.8
19%
Gamma
2.487 88%
2.6 85%
2.2 100%
2.31 95%
2.18 101%
2.262 97%
CCT
8090 80%
7424 88%
7172 91%
7480 87%
66.76 9736%
7660 85%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 2358 Hz ≤ 15 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 2358 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 15 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 2358 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9524 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Unfortunately, the KEY2 LE uses pulse-width modulation (PWM) to regulate display brightness, which can cause eye strain or headaches for some people. We measure a 2,358 Hz PWM frequency at 15% luminosity and below, which should be a high enough frequency to not disturb even those who are PWM sensitive.

We also analysed our test device with CalMAN analysis software, which reproduced the blue tint that we can even see by looking at the display. Our test device achieves decent sRGB colour space coverage too, but unfortunately CalMAN only indicates the degree of coverage.

CalMAN: Colour Accuracy
CalMAN: Colour Accuracy
CalMAN: Greyscale
CalMAN: Greyscale
CalMAN: Colour Space
CalMAN: Colour Space
CalMAN: Colour Saturation
CalMAN: Colour Saturation

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
18 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 13 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 18 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
46 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 23 ms rise
↘ 23 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 72 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (40.4 ms).

The KEY2 LE is usable outdoors thanks to its bright display. However, we would recommend using the device in the shade on sunny days as its display has a highly reflective finish, which makes reading what is being displayed onscreen a chore.

Our test device has strong viewing angles because of its IPS display. Unfortunately, we noticed significant brightness distortions at acute viewing angles, which is atypical of devices with the same display technology.

Using the BlackBerry KEY2 LE outside with the ambient light sensor switched on
Using the BlackBerry KEY2 LE outside with the ambient light sensor switched on
Using the BlackBerry KEY2 LE outside at maximum display brightness
Using the BlackBerry KEY2 LE outside at maximum display brightness
Using the BlackBerry KEY2 LE outside at medium display brightness
Using the BlackBerry KEY2 LE outside at medium display brightness
Using the BlackBerry KEY2 LE outside at minimum display brightness
Using the BlackBerry KEY2 LE outside at minimum display brightness
Viewing Angles
Viewing Angles
 
 
 

Performance

The KEY2 LE is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, which is slightly less powerful than the Snapdragon 660 SoC powering the KEY2. Our test device typically finished between 20% and 25% behind its more expensive sibling, but the real-world difference is not as clear-cut. The KEY2 will feel faster if you regularly run numerous apps simultaneously because of its more powerful SoC and its 2 GB extra RAM, while complex apps may run more smoothly. However, the performance differences will be negligible during less resource intensive tasks such as web browsing or sending a few messages.

The Snapdragon 636 SoC integrates a Qualcomm Adreno 509 GPU that regularly finished behind most of our comparison devices in graphics-intensive benchmarks such as GFXBench. Our test device consistently finished above the Xperia XA2 Plus and the Sharp D10 with their Adreno 508 GPUs, but the Adreno 509 averaged around 30% lower scores than the Adreno 512 that handles graphics in the KEY2.

Geekbench 4.3
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
4484 Points ∼33%
BlackBerry Key2
5672 Points ∼42% +26%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
3621 Points ∼27% -19%
LG G7 ThinQ
13497 Points ∼100% +201%
Sharp D10
3728 Points ∼28% -17%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (4278 - 5041, n=11)
4505 Points ∼33% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (663 - 21070, n=299)
4513 Points ∼33% +1%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
4781 Points ∼53%
BlackBerry Key2
5806 Points ∼64% +21%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
4152 Points ∼46% -13%
LG G7 ThinQ
9029 Points ∼100% +89%
Huawei P20
6557 Points ∼73% +37%
Sharp D10
4203 Points ∼47% -12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (4781 - 5426, n=11)
4960 Points ∼55% +4%
Average of class Smartphone (1174 - 11598, n=353)
4479 Points ∼50% -6%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
1343 Points ∼55%
BlackBerry Key2
1617 Points ∼66% +20%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
858 Points ∼35% -36%
LG G7 ThinQ
2448 Points ∼100% +82%
Huawei P20
1886 Points ∼77% +40%
Sharp D10
875 Points ∼36% -35%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1323 - 1506, n=11)
1351 Points ∼55% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (758 - 4824, n=355)
1325 Points ∼54% -1%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
5845 Points ∼76%
BlackBerry Key2
6124 Points ∼79% +5%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
4953 Points ∼64% -15%
LG G7 ThinQ
7717 Points ∼100% +32%
Huawei P20
7002 Points ∼91% +20%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (5611 - 6277, n=11)
5291 Points ∼69% -9%
Average of class Smartphone (3227 - 11440, n=349)
4937 Points ∼64% -16%
Work performance score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
6468 Points ∼68%
BlackBerry Key2
7026 Points ∼74% +9%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
5659 Points ∼60% -13%
LG G7 ThinQ
9503 Points ∼100% +47%
Huawei P20
8700 Points ∼92% +35%
Sharp D10
5796 Points ∼61% -10%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (6040 - 7618, n=10)
6617 Points ∼70% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (4096 - 14439, n=517)
5401 Points ∼57% -16%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
2293 Points ∼67%
BlackBerry Key2
2431 Points ∼71% +6%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1756 Points ∼51% -23%
LG G7 ThinQ
3416 Points ∼100% +49%
Huawei P20
2762 Points ∼81% +20%
Sharp D10
1697 Points ∼50% -26%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (2258 - 2644, n=10)
2376 Points ∼70% +4%
Average of class Smartphone (573 - 4535, n=363)
1813 Points ∼53% -21%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
871 Points ∼16%
BlackBerry Key2
1134 Points ∼21% +30%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
793 Points ∼15% -9%
LG G7 ThinQ
5322 Points ∼100% +511%
Huawei P20
2597 Points ∼49% +198%
Sharp D10
806 Points ∼15% -7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (645 - 872, n=10)
840 Points ∼16% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (76 - 8206, n=363)
1548 Points ∼29% +78%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
1010 Points ∼21%
BlackBerry Key2
1287 Points ∼27% +27%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
903 Points ∼19% -11%
LG G7 ThinQ
4735 Points ∼100% +369%
Huawei P20
2632 Points ∼56% +161%
Sharp D10
912 Points ∼19% -10%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (765 - 1016, n=10)
980 Points ∼21% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (94 - 6312, n=366)
1445 Points ∼31% +43%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
2346 Points ∼75%
BlackBerry Key2
2752 Points ∼89% +17%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1744 Points ∼56% -26%
LG G7 ThinQ
3109 Points ∼100% +33%
Huawei P20
2896 Points ∼93% +23%
Sharp D10
1711 Points ∼55% -27%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (2343 - 2683, n=10)
2396 Points ∼77% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (375 - 4493, n=377)
1782 Points ∼57% -24%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
1406 Points ∼18%
BlackBerry Key2
1734 Points ∼22% +23%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1303 Points ∼17% -7%
LG G7 ThinQ
7882 Points ∼100% +461%
Huawei P20
3683 Points ∼47% +162%
Sharp D10
1325 Points ∼17% -6%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1358 - 1406, n=10)
1396 Points ∼18% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (131 - 14951, n=377)
2118 Points ∼27% +51%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
1543 Points ∼26%
BlackBerry Key2
1889 Points ∼32% +22%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1381 Points ∼23% -10%
LG G7 ThinQ
5877 Points ∼100% +281%
Huawei P20
3463 Points ∼59% +124%
Sharp D10
1395 Points ∼24% -10%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1525 - 1554, n=10)
1538 Points ∼26% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (159 - 7980, n=378)
1805 Points ∼31% +17%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
2347 Points ∼72%
BlackBerry Key2
2737 Points ∼84% +17%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1712 Points ∼53% -27%
LG G7 ThinQ
3255 Points ∼100% +39%
Huawei P20
2795 Points ∼86% +19%
Sharp D10
1755 Points ∼54% -25%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (2251 - 2634, n=10)
2360 Points ∼73% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (486 - 4262, n=439)
1740 Points ∼53% -26%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
818 Points ∼16%
BlackBerry Key2
1201 Points ∼24% +47%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
718 Points ∼14% -12%
LG G7 ThinQ
5006 Points ∼100% +512%
Huawei P20
3040 Points ∼61% +272%
Sharp D10
723 Points ∼14% -12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (797 - 818, n=10)
812 Points ∼16% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (65 - 6362, n=441)
1280 Points ∼26% +56%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
956 Points ∼21%
BlackBerry Key2
1372 Points ∼31% +44%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
824 Points ∼18% -14%
LG G7 ThinQ
4471 Points ∼100% +368%
Huawei P20
2982 Points ∼67% +212%
Sharp D10
832 Points ∼19% -13%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (946 - 962, n=11)
864 Points ∼19% -10%
Average of class Smartphone (80 - 5734, n=449)
1225 Points ∼27% +28%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
2336 Points ∼74%
BlackBerry Key2
2736 Points ∼87% +17%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1757 Points ∼56% -25%
LG G7 ThinQ
3150 Points ∼100% +35%
Huawei P20
2811 Points ∼89% +20%
Sharp D10
1743 Points ∼55% -25%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1349 - 2626, n=10)
2274 Points ∼72% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (512 - 4240, n=471)
1645 Points ∼52% -30%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
1353 Points ∼18%
BlackBerry Key2
1856 Points ∼24% +37%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1248 Points ∼16% -8%
LG G7 ThinQ
7633 Points ∼100% +464%
Huawei P20
3550 Points ∼47% +162%
Sharp D10
1269 Points ∼17% -6%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1313 - 1353, n=10)
1332 Points ∼17% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (43 - 10008, n=471)
1735 Points ∼23% +28%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
1493 Points ∼26%
BlackBerry Key2
1999 Points ∼34% +34%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1334 Points ∼23% -11%
LG G7 ThinQ
5799 Points ∼100% +288%
Huawei P20
3354 Points ∼58% +125%
Sharp D10
1351 Points ∼23% -10%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1458 - 1493, n=10)
1476 Points ∼25% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (55 - 7673, n=479)
1491 Points ∼26% 0%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
16719 Points ∼60%
BlackBerry Key2
20224 Points ∼73% +21%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
13217 Points ∼48% -21%
LG G7 ThinQ
27817 Points ∼100% +66%
Huawei P20
23046 Points ∼83% +38%
Sharp D10
13090 Points ∼47% -22%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (0 - 19365, n=11)
15577 Points ∼56% -7%
Average of class Smartphone (4811 - 45072, n=631)
13525 Points ∼49% -19%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
20778 Points ∼26%
BlackBerry Key2
26322 Points ∼33% +27%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
18472 Points ∼23% -11%
LG G7 ThinQ
80534 Points ∼100% +288%
Huawei P20
34146 Points ∼42% +64%
Sharp D10
18635 Points ∼23% -10%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (0 - 20953, n=11)
18924 Points ∼23% -9%
Average of class Smartphone (3585 - 162695, n=631)
19546 Points ∼24% -6%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
19714 Points ∼35%
BlackBerry Key2
24669 Points ∼44% +25%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
16972 Points ∼30% -14%
LG G7 ThinQ
56669 Points ∼100% +187%
Huawei P20
30845 Points ∼54% +56%
Sharp D10
17032 Points ∼30% -14%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (0 - 20404, n=11)
18061 Points ∼32% -8%
Average of class Smartphone (4164 - 83518, n=632)
16333 Points ∼29% -17%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
35 fps ∼24%
BlackBerry Key2
43 fps ∼30% +23%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
30 fps ∼21% -14%
LG G7 ThinQ
144 fps ∼100% +311%
Huawei P20
125 fps ∼87% +257%
Sharp D10
30 fps ∼21% -14%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (35 - 36, n=11)
35.6 fps ∼25% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (6 - 251, n=659)
34.1 fps ∼24% -3%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
40 fps ∼67%
BlackBerry Key2
52 fps ∼87% +30%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
28 fps ∼47% -30%
LG G7 ThinQ
60 fps ∼100% +50%
Huawei P20
59 fps ∼98% +48%
Sharp D10
29 fps ∼48% -27%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (30 - 40, n=11)
34.5 fps ∼58% -14%
Average of class Smartphone (9.8 - 120, n=662)
26.5 fps ∼44% -34%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
16 fps ∼25%
BlackBerry Key2
21 fps ∼33% +31%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
14 fps ∼22% -12%
LG G7 ThinQ
63 fps ∼100% +294%
Huawei P20
59 fps ∼94% +269%
Sharp D10
13 fps ∼21% -19%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (16 - 16, n=11)
16 fps ∼25% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2.7 - 132, n=578)
18.7 fps ∼30% +17%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
18 fps ∼32%
BlackBerry Key2
23 fps ∼41% +28%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
13 fps ∼23% -28%
LG G7 ThinQ
41 fps ∼73% +128%
Huawei P20
56 fps ∼100% +211%
Sharp D10
14 fps ∼25% -22%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (13 - 18, n=11)
15 fps ∼27% -17%
Average of class Smartphone (5.4 - 115, n=583)
17.4 fps ∼31% -3%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
10 fps ∼20%
BlackBerry Key2
13 fps ∼25% +30%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
9.8 fps ∼19% -2%
LG G7 ThinQ
51 fps ∼100% +410%
Huawei P20
39 fps ∼76% +290%
Sharp D10
9.8 fps ∼19% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (9.8 - 10, n=11)
9.98 fps ∼20% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (1.6 - 88, n=440)
15.5 fps ∼30% +55%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
12 fps ∼31%
BlackBerry Key2
12 fps ∼31% 0%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
9.3 fps ∼24% -22%
LG G7 ThinQ
26 fps ∼67% +117%
Huawei P20
39 fps ∼100% +225%
Sharp D10
9.6 fps ∼25% -20%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (8.4 - 12, n=11)
9.81 fps ∼25% -18%
Average of class Smartphone (3.4 - 110, n=443)
14.8 fps ∼38% +23%
GFXBench
High Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
4.4 fps ∼34%
BlackBerry Key2
6.3 fps ∼48% +43%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
3.1 fps ∼24% -30%
LG G7 ThinQ
13 fps ∼100% +195%
Sharp D10
3.2 fps ∼25% -27%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (2 - 4.4, n=8)
3.39 fps ∼26% -23%
Average of class Smartphone (0.86 - 59, n=143)
8.76 fps ∼67% +99%
2560x1440 High Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
2.2 fps ∼16%
BlackBerry Key2
3.2 fps ∼23% +45%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1.9 fps ∼14% -14%
LG G7 ThinQ
14 fps ∼100% +536%
Sharp D10
1.9 fps ∼14% -14%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (2.2 - 2.3, n=8)
2.21 fps ∼16% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0.26 - 31, n=143)
5.99 fps ∼43% +172%
Normal Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
6.9 fps ∼35%
BlackBerry Key2
9.7 fps ∼49% +41%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
5.4 fps ∼27% -22%
LG G7 ThinQ
20 fps ∼100% +190%
Sharp D10
5.4 fps ∼27% -22%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (4.9 - 6.9, n=8)
5.61 fps ∼28% -19%
Average of class Smartphone (1.8 - 59, n=145)
13 fps ∼65% +88%
1920x1080 Normal Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
6 fps ∼16%
BlackBerry Key2
8.6 fps ∼23% +43%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
5.6 fps ∼15% -7%
LG G7 ThinQ
37 fps ∼100% +517%
Sharp D10
5.6 fps ∼15% -7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (5.4 - 6.1, n=8)
5.93 fps ∼16% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (0.94 - 63, n=144)
14.4 fps ∼39% +140%
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
6.3 fps ∼19%
BlackBerry Key2
9 fps ∼27% +43%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
5.6 fps ∼17% -11%
LG G7 ThinQ
33 fps ∼100% +424%
Huawei P20
23 fps ∼70% +265%
Sharp D10
5.5 fps ∼17% -13%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (6.3 - 6.3, n=11)
6.3 fps ∼19% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0.89 - 54, n=369)
10.4 fps ∼32% +65%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
7.4 fps ∼32%
BlackBerry Key2
9.8 fps ∼43% +32%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
5.3 fps ∼23% -28%
LG G7 ThinQ
17 fps ∼74% +130%
Huawei P20
23 fps ∼100% +211%
Sharp D10
5.4 fps ∼23% -27%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (5.1 - 7.4, n=11)
6.01 fps ∼26% -19%
Average of class Smartphone (1.6 - 58, n=373)
9.41 fps ∼41% +27%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
118023 Points ∼46%
BlackBerry Key2
126462 Points ∼49% +7%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
89006 Points ∼35% -25%
LG G7 ThinQ
256276 Points ∼100% +117%
Huawei P20
200756 Points ∼78% +70%
Sharp D10
90099 Points ∼35% -24%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (115565 - 138661, n=11)
118863 Points ∼46% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (52607 - 380913, n=261)
126807 Points ∼49% +7%
AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
96296 Points ∼43%
BlackBerry Key2
116968 Points ∼52% +21%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
70346 Points ∼31% -27%
LG G7 ThinQ
223464 Points ∼100% +132%
Huawei P20
179393 Points ∼80% +86%
Sharp D10
72035 Points ∼32% -25%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (92015 - 125213, n=10)
98051 Points ∼44% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 274007, n=464)
83941 Points ∼38% -13%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
1082 Points ∼79%
BlackBerry Key2
1092 Points ∼79% +1%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
936 Points ∼68% -13%
LG G7 ThinQ
1374 Points ∼100% +27%
Huawei P20
1313 Points ∼96% +21%
Sharp D10
921 Points ∼67% -15%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1018 - 1088, n=9)
1054 Points ∼77% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1731, n=590)
734 Points ∼53% -32%
Graphics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
1613 Points ∼20%
BlackBerry Key2
2288 Points ∼29% +42%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1480 Points ∼19% -8%
LG G7 ThinQ
7906 Points ∼100% +390%
Huawei P20
3697 Points ∼47% +129%
Sharp D10
1495 Points ∼19% -7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1590 - 1625, n=9)
1605 Points ∼20% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 15969, n=590)
1889 Points ∼24% +17%
Memory (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
1461 Points ∼35%
BlackBerry Key2
2256 Points ∼54% +54%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1334 Points ∼32% -9%
LG G7 ThinQ
3744 Points ∼90% +156%
Huawei P20
4154 Points ∼100% +184%
Sharp D10
1235 Points ∼30% -15%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1236 - 2492, n=9)
1951 Points ∼47% +34%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 6661, n=590)
1413 Points ∼34% -3%
System (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
4566 Points ∼57%
BlackBerry Key2
5229 Points ∼65% +15%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
3284 Points ∼41% -28%
LG G7 ThinQ
8070 Points ∼100% +77%
Huawei P20
5797 Points ∼72% +27%
Sharp D10
3298 Points ∼41% -28%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (4320 - 5348, n=9)
4566 Points ∼57% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 12202, n=590)
2799 Points ∼35% -39%
Overall (sort by value)
BlackBerry Key2 LE
1847 Points ∼43%
BlackBerry Key2
2330 Points ∼55% +26%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
1570 Points ∼37% -15%
LG G7 ThinQ
4257 Points ∼100% +130%
Huawei P20
3288 Points ∼77% +78%
Sharp D10
1539 Points ∼36% -17%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1734 - 2156, n=9)
1963 Points ∼46% +6%
Average of class Smartphone (150 - 6097, n=594)
1389 Points ∼33% -25%

Legend

 
BlackBerry Key2 LE Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, Qualcomm Adreno 509, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
BlackBerry Key2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Qualcomm Adreno 508, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G7 ThinQ Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm Adreno 630, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Huawei P20 HiSilicon Kirin 970, ARM Mali-G72 MP12, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Sharp D10 Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Qualcomm Adreno 508, 64 GB eMMC Flash

There is also a clear gap between the KEY2 LE and the KEY2 in browser benchmarks. The KEY2 LE outscored the P20 and scored 16% higher than the average of Snapdragon 636 powered devices that we have currently tested in WebXPRT 2015 though, which is somewhat surprising.

The KEY2 LE loads websites swiftly in daily use, but media content often takes slightly longer to load. The KEY2 is noticeably faster in this respect. Elaborate HTML5 websites such as Google Interland run smoothly and load quickly though.

JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
LG G7 ThinQ (Chrome 66)
88.081 Points ∼100% +96%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
56.188 Points ∼64% +25%
BlackBerry Key2 (Chrome 67)
53.309 Points ∼61% +18%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (44.2 - 51.5, n=10)
45.4 Points ∼52% +1%
BlackBerry Key2 LE (Chrome 70)
45.039 Points ∼51%
Average of class Smartphone (12 - 273, n=496)
38.1 Points ∼43% -15%
Sharp D10 (Chrome 70)
27.85 Points ∼32% -38%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus (Chrome 67)
27.615 Points ∼31% -39%
Octane V2 - Total Score
LG G7 ThinQ (Chrome 66)
16720 Points ∼100% +94%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
11468 Points ∼69% +33%
BlackBerry Key2 (Chrome 67)
10174 Points ∼61% +18%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (8163 - 9746, n=11)
8657 Points ∼52% +1%
BlackBerry Key2 LE (Chrome 70)
8599 Points ∼51%
Average of class Smartphone (1994 - 43280, n=652)
6115 Points ∼37% -29%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus (Chrome 67)
5017 Points ∼30% -42%
Sharp D10 (Chrome 70)
5004 Points ∼30% -42%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (603 - 59466, n=672)
10898 ms * ∼100% -137%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus (Chrome 67)
10086 ms * ∼93% -119%
Sharp D10 (Chrome 70)
9807.1 ms * ∼90% -113%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (4105 - 4820, n=11)
4653 ms * ∼43% -1%
BlackBerry Key2 LE
4606 ms * ∼42%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
3978.9 ms * ∼37% +14%
BlackBerry Key2 (Chrome 67)
3926.9 ms * ∼36% +15%
LG G7 ThinQ (Chrome 66)
2484.1 ms * ∼23% +46%
WebXPRT 3 - ---
LG G7 ThinQ (Chrome 66)
97 Points ∼100% +59%
Huawei P20
69 Points ∼71% +13%
Average of class Smartphone (19 - 161, n=125)
62.4 Points ∼64% +2%
BlackBerry Key2 LE (Chrome 70)
61 Points ∼63%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (54 - 61, n=8)
55.5 Points ∼57% -9%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus (Chrome 67)
37 Points ∼38% -39%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
LG G7 ThinQ (Chrome 66)
252 Points ∼100% +37%
BlackBerry Key2 LE (Chrome 70)
184 Points ∼73%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
182 Points ∼72% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (147 - 184, n=8)
158 Points ∼63% -14%
Average of class Smartphone (66 - 362, n=327)
119 Points ∼47% -35%
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus (Chrome 67)
106 Points ∼42% -42%

* ... smaller is better

It appears TCL has used the same microSD card reader in the KEY2 LE and the KEY2 as they both achieved almost identical transfer speeds in AndroBench 3-5. Our test device is on par with our comparison devices too, although the Xperia XA2 Plus has slightly higher read and write speeds. File transfers will finish quicker on the Xperia XA2 Plus, but the time saved will be negligible in daily use.

The KEY2 LE is equipped with eMMC flash storage, which is considerably slower than its UFS 2.1 counterpart that manufacturers often use in their flagship devices. The G7 ThinQ and P20 are two such devices, so inevitably our test device falls well short of them both in internal storage benchmarks such as AndroBench 3-5. However, the KEY2 LE averaged around 19% faster transfer speeds than the average of devices with 64GB of eMMC storage that we have tested. Our test device finished well above the class average too.

BlackBerry Key2 LEBlackBerry Key2Sony Xperia XA2 PlusLG G7 ThinQHuawei P20Sharp D10Average 64 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-10%
-14%
27%
242%
-10%
-10%
-27%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
59.6 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
61.68 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
3%
67.02 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
12%
62.67 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
5%
63.6 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
7%
56.1 (58.4 - 74.7, n=97)
-6%
48.3 (9.5 - 87.1, n=393)
-19%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
82.4 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
82.52 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
0%
86.01 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
4%
84.72 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
3%
83.2 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
1%
74.1 (76.1 - 87.2, n=97)
-10%
66.4 (8.1 - 96.5, n=393)
-19%
Random Write 4KB
19.1
17.18
-10%
10.5
-45%
23.26
22%
161.49
745%
16.79
-12%
24.5 (3.4 - 88.2, n=108)
28%
19.3 (0.14 - 250, n=701)
1%
Random Read 4KB
92.1
56.78
-38%
77.43
-16%
110.46
20%
147.04
60%
47.2
-49%
54.6 (11.4 - 149, n=108)
-41%
43.9 (1.59 - 175, n=701)
-52%
Sequential Write 256KB
213.8
208.39
-3%
146.16
-32%
176.45
-17%
193.56
-9%
211.5
-1%
172 (40 - 246, n=108)
-20%
90.4 (2.99 - 392, n=701)
-58%
Sequential Read 256KB
306.7
273.14
-11%
281.06
-8%
695.15
127%
826.76
170%
280.71
-8%
274 (115 - 704, n=108)
-11%
255 (12.1 - 1468, n=701)
-17%

Games

The Adreno 509 GPU is powerful enough to handle complex and modern games with minimal stuttering. Our test device averaged around 30 FPS in "Asphalt 9: Legends" and "Arena of Valor" regardless on high or low graphics, so overall the KEY2 LE is suitable for some light gaming after work in our opinion.

The integrated GPU supports all modern graphics standards, so the KEY2 LE should be able to play most games that are released in the next few years. It is even possible to use the keyboard as an input device while gaming, but games currently only play in landscape mode, which limited us to using the keyboard with only one hand. Hence, we would not currently recommend using the keyboard while gaming as it is a pain to use.

The positional sensor and touchscreen worked perfectly throughout our games tests. We had no issues when playing fast-paced games such as "Temple Run 2", during which the touchscreen reacted quickly, while the positional sensor maintained the correct display orientation for the game in question.

Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt 9: Legends
010203040Tooltip
; Arena of Valor; min; 1.25.1.2: Ø31.3 (29-32)
; Arena of Valor; high HD; 1.25.1.2: Ø30.8 (28-32)
; Asphalt 9: Legends; High Quality; 1.1.4a: Ø28.8 (3-31)
; Asphalt 9: Legends; Standard / low; 1.1.4a: Ø29.9 (28-34)

Emissions

Temperature

GFXBench Battery Test
GFXBench Battery Test

The KEY2 LE manages its surface temperatures well. Our test device reached a maximum of 38.8 °C (~102 °F), but no problem. Towards the keyboard, the temperature also decreases.

We also subjected our test device to a loop of the GFXBench Battery Test to determine how well it maintains its peak performance under sustained load. The KEY2 LE performed comparatively well and only experienced a performance drop of around 10% by the 17th benchmark loop. In short, you should not experience thermal throttling in daily use.

Max. Load
 37 °C
99 F
34.2 °C
94 F
32.6 °C
91 F
 
 36.3 °C
97 F
34 °C
93 F
33.4 °C
92 F
 
 35.4 °C
96 F
33.3 °C
92 F
33 °C
91 F
 
Maximum: 37 °C = 99 F
Average: 34.4 °C = 94 F
32.2 °C
90 F
34.5 °C
94 F
35.1 °C
95 F
32.8 °C
91 F
34.1 °C
93 F
38.8 °C
102 F
33.1 °C
92 F
35.6 °C
96 F
37.1 °C
99 F
Maximum: 38.8 °C = 102 F
Average: 34.8 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  39.8 °C = 104 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 34.4 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 37 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 38.8 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27 °C / 81 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Heatmap of the back of the device under load
Heatmap of the back of the device under load
Heatmap of the front of the device under load
Heatmap of the front of the device under load

Speakers

Pink Noise speaker tests
Pink Noise speaker tests

The KEY2 LE has a small mono speaker on the underside of the device, which does its job well. The audio produced sounds warm, and there is no distortion even at maximum volume. However, the speakers struggle to reproduce bass tones like many other smartphone speakers, and high tones are overrepresented at maximum volume to the extent that the audio sounds too shrill for our liking.

TCL has included a headphone jack, which reproduces audio cleanly. The included headphones are comparatively good too. Our test device also worked perfectly with Bluetooth headphones and speakers during our tests.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.537.32534.938.13139.541.94038.638.8503941.86328328029.728.510028.527.312524.723.616023.727.320022.539.1250214531520.851.440019.960.650020.160.96301959.680018.563.8100019.264.312501972.4160018.172.420001871.5250017.472.6315017.672400017.871.150001872.363001871.780001864.8100001863.8125001864.7160001857.6SPL64.469.464.130.682.4N16.525.917.21.550.7median 18.5median 63.8Delta212.533.932.928.435.536.132.230.925.230.628.422.227.324.92124.421.523.522.920.331.619.840.618.246.917.453.516.658.817.159.315.960.915.963.815.964.516.772.21675.115.973.216.277.416.4771774.916.57416.475.716.674.21769.416.565.516.955.228.685.91.160.5median 16.6median 64.51.613.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseBlackBerry Key2 LEBlackBerry Key2
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
BlackBerry Key2 LE audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.9% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 47% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 68% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 25% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

BlackBerry Key2 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.3% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 10.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (26.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 66% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 27% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 78% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 17% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Management

Power Consumption

The KEY2 LE is a relatively power efficient device, although it consumed increasingly more than its more expensive sibling the harder we pushed it. Our test device consumes a minimum of 0.6 W when idling and a maximum of 8.3 W under load, both of which are slightly higher than what the KEY2 consumes. The KEY2 LE finished in the midfield of our comparison table and only consumed less on average than the considerably more powerful G7 ThinQ and the P20.

Power Consumption
Idledarkmidlight 0.6 / 1.4 / 2 Watt
Load midlight 4.8 / 8.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
BlackBerry Key2 LE
3000 mAh
BlackBerry Key2
3500 mAh
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
3580 mAh
LG G7 ThinQ
3000 mAh
Huawei P20
3400 mAh
Sharp D10
2900 mAh
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
9%
18%
-26%
-18%
20%
-26%
-6%
Idle Minimum *
0.6
0.56
7%
0.35
42%
1.16
-93%
0.67
-12%
0.7
-17%
0.965 (0.6 - 1.75, n=11)
-61%
0.882 (0.2 - 3.4, n=728)
-47%
Idle Average *
1.4
1.51
-8%
1.81
-29%
1.98
-41%
2.05
-46%
1
29%
2.21 (1.4 - 4.48, n=11)
-58%
1.737 (0.6 - 6.2, n=727)
-24%
Idle Maximum *
2
1.54
23%
1.83
8%
2.07
-4%
2.11
-6%
1.4
30%
2.57 (2 - 4.5, n=11)
-29%
2.02 (0.74 - 6.6, n=728)
-1%
Load Average *
4.8
3.94
18%
3.31
31%
4.51
6%
6.15
-28%
3.7
23%
4.56 (3.65 - 7.92, n=11)
5%
4.07 (0.8 - 10.8, n=722)
15%
Load Maximum *
8.3
7.87
5%
4.97
40%
8.3
-0%
8.09
3%
5.2
37%
7.41 (5.1 - 13.6, n=11)
11%
5.87 (1.2 - 14.2, n=722)
29%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The KEY2 LE has a 3,000 mAh battery, which is 500 mAh smaller than the one in the KEY2. However, our test device’s smaller battery is counteracted by its less powerful hardware as both devices achieved similar runtimes in our Wi-Fi battery life test. The KEY2 LE lasted 11:24 hours compared to the KEY 2’s 10:51 hours runtime, but both devices fall far short of the 13:57 hours for which the Xperia XA2 Plus lasted. Overall, the KEY2 LE should last most people a full working day’s use, but we would recommend the Huawei P20 or the Xperia XA2 Plus of our comparison devices if you need a smartphone with a particularly long battery life.

The included charger recharges our test device fully in under two hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
27h 57min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
11h 24min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
12h 14min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 14min
BlackBerry Key2 LE
3000 mAh
BlackBerry Key2
3500 mAh
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
3580 mAh
LG G7 ThinQ
3000 mAh
Huawei P20
3400 mAh
Sharp D10
2900 mAh
Battery Runtime
-5%
83%
3%
15%
-6%
Reader / Idle
1677
4682
179%
1662
-1%
1888
13%
H.264
734
893
22%
908
24%
810
10%
WiFi v1.3
684
651
-5%
837
22%
591
-14%
818
20%
644
-6%
Load
254
529
108%
260
2%
295
16%

Pros

+ good GPS performance
+ support for numerous LTE bands
+ robust case
+ impressive call quality
+ numerous input options
+ two configurable buttons

Cons

- throttles quickly under load
- the display has a blue tint to it
- cameras are poor in low-light
- outdated Android security patches

Verdict

The BlackBerry KEY2 LE smartphone review. Test device courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de.
The BlackBerry KEY2 LE smartphone review. Test device courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de.

The BlackBerry KEY2 is the representation of BlackBerry Mobile’s, or rather TCL Communication’s, great idea of releasing a cheaper version of its flagship smartphone. After all, not everyone can or wants to pay over $600 for a smartphone. In short, TCL has created a slimmed down version of the KEY2 without sacrificing in key areas. The performance difference between the KEY2 LE and the KEY2 is hardly noticeable unless they are both pushed hard, while both devices have comparable battery life despite the former having a 500 mAh smaller battery. Moreover, we suspect that the KEY2 LE’s weaker camera will not affect business customers. The only practical compromise is the lack of keyboard touch gestures, which proved useful during our time with the KEY2.

Slimmed down, but in the right places. The BlackBerry KEY2 LE is a decent business smartphone with a physical keyboard that retains most of the KEY2’s best features.

However, it is frustrating that our test device has three-month-old Android security patches when the device is marketed as being more secure than other Android smartphones. TCL also includes plenty of pre-installed apps, which may put off some people who prefer a cleaner Android experience. The display is underwhelming too, but the GPS accuracy, build quality and performance are impressive for a sub-$500 smartphone.

Overall, we would recommend the KEY2 LE to those who want a smartphone with a physical keyboard but want to keep costs down. The device is better value for money than its more expensive sibling, but the KEY2 is the better of the two for just $150 more at the time of writing.

BlackBerry Key2 LE - 12/06/2018 v6
Florian Schmitt

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
68 / 75 → 91%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
45 / 60 → 74%
Weight
92%
Battery
94%
Display
76%
Games Performance
40 / 63 → 63%
Application Performance
59 / 70 → 84%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
57 / 91 → 63%
Camera
62%
Average
74%
84%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > BlackBerry KEY2 LE Smartphone Review
Florian Schmitt, 2018-12- 8 (Update: 2019-02-25)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor
I got my first smartphone aged 11, my first PC aged 12 and I have been tinkering with electronics ever since. I like to keep abreast of the latest news and technology, which inevitably leads me to switch my laptop and phone every few months. When I'm not writing for Notebookcheck, you will find me seeking out new coffee shops, bars and trying to find some hidden gems in record stores.